April 17, 2024
Jimmy Carpenter – The Louisiana Record


Jimmy Carpenter – The Louisiana Record

Gulf Coast Records


11 tracks

Jimmy Carpenter is a two time Blues Music award winner for his saxophone work who many of us have enjoyed listening to for a long time in bands he’s performed with and on his own. He is a super musician and with this album on Gulf Coast Records he delivers a New Orleans themed album of classic songs. Mike Zito proposed the project to Carpenter and Jimmy was skeptical at first. Carpenter’s musical roots are built on the sounds of the Crescent City and he rapidly warmed up to the idea of this album.

Joining Jimmy here are Zito on guitar, John Gros on piano and B3 organ, Cassandra Falconer on bass, and Wayne Maureau on drums. They all work together to deliver that New Orleans sound that is a blend of blues, soul, R&B, rock-n-roll and more.  The band is tight and they deliver eleven truly fine performances here for the listener to enjoy.

“I Hear You Knocking” gets things rolling.  Carpenter shows us his prowess on his horn as he and the band roll through this classic with some slick guitar and piano to enjoy. Carpenter’s vocals also drip with the sound of the Crescent City. “Next is “I Got Loaded,” another standard that Carpenter and company do a super job with. The organ and sax work and solos are super. The tempo gets turned down with “Something You Got,” as Carpenter plays and sings with emotion. The band rocks it out in “Barefootin’” where Zito and Carpenter let it all hang out!

“All These Things” gives the listener something to slow dance to. This song was first done by Art Neville and was penned by Allen Toussaint under the pseudonym of “Naomi Neville.” Carpenter puts his spin on it as he croons this out sweetly and plays a nice little solo on his horn. “Travelin’ Mood” follows, another NOLA classic with Zito sliding his way through this one. Not to be outdone, Carpenter adds his own fine solo as he and the band then take us home. “Cry To Me” is next, a song first recorded by Solomon Burke. Carpenter swings a bit here, giving the song more of a New Orleans flair rather than the country/gospel feel of the original and it works just fine. “Those Lonely Nights” follows that, an Earl King NOLA standard. The piano work is pretty as is Carpenter’s sax and vocals as he flows sweetly through the song.

“Pouring Water On A Drowning Man” is a James Carr Memphis soul cut that Carpenter and the band makeover a bit into their own sound. “Bring It On Home To Me” is another classic that Jimmy pays tribute to vocally and with some soulful horn play. They conclude with “Rockin’ At Cosimo’s,” a bouncing instrumental where Carpenter picks up the tempo a bit from the Lee Allen original and delivers another excellent performance.

The songs here are not strictly all from New Orleans or even Louisiana, but Jimmy Carpenter takes them all there as he delivers to us a great album of classic cuts. I enjoyed this album from start to finish. Carpenter does a great job on vocals and tenor saxophone throughout and the bands does an exceptional job, too! Kudos to Jimmy and the rest of the guys for delivering an enjoyable and memorable album of songs that they all love and play with that love showing brightly through each number.  This is one you’ll play over and over!

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